Extra time to consider citizens' input on what should go into a park on the lake: Check.
Exploration of costs based on that input: Check.
The ability for the Common Council to reverse should it decide buying the park land is not in the best interest of the city: Check.
Addressing the concerns of many residents regarding the city's proposed purchase of a 4.6-acre parcel on Little Muskego Lake, aldermen voted 5-2 Tuesday night to approve a resolution that puts the next step into the hands of the Parks and Recreation Board.
The resolution calls for the creation of a subcommittee of the parks board that will study the issue, gather cost estimates and public input, and come back to the Common Council with a recommendation on whether the city should move forward with the land acquisition.
Aldermen debated and ultimately rejected the broader resolution introduced by Alderman Kert Harenda, which basically asked for a review of all park projects and put the new committee in the hands of the Common Council — not the parks board. But most of the council agreed the control of the planning process should remain in the hands of the parks department.
was called "flawed" by Alderman Noah Fiedler, who provided the most adamant opposition to anything outside of passage of an earlier resolution sponsored by Alderman Tracy Snead (not the mayor as previously reported). He said the language had already been reviewed and approved by the city attorney, and was more legally sound.
However, Alderman Neil Borgman that the language in Snead's resolution wouldn't allow any other conclusion but to stay the course for a park purchase. Alderman Dan Soltysiak agreed.
"This proposal doesn't analyze the park and how it fits with the larger park system. It justifies it," Soltysiak said.
Yet, Fiedler and others pointed out that Snead's resolution did give the council the ultimate ability to accept or deny the purchase after the information and costs are determined.
What happens next?
- The Parks and Recreation Board will meet April 9 to determine the makeup of the subcommittee.
- In addition, the board will be charged with hiring a consultant to bring forward a park site plan alternatives, cost estimates for development, and cost estimates for future park maintenance.
- Based on the input from the subcommittee and additional public hearings, the board would then provide a recommendation to the council.
- The makeup of the committee would include a representative of Bay Breeze Condominium Association; Muskego Proud; Muskego for Ethical Government; Muskego Historical Society; Little Muskego Lake District or Little Muskego Lake Association; Muskego Chamber or a business representative; adjacent property owners; a citizen at large, and any other representatives the Park and Recreation Board may determine.
- A recommendation will be due to the council by Sept. 25, and the council will have the opportunity to approve or deny moving forward with the land purchase.